To the Land
Project type: Documentary Feature
Project status: Production
Director: Katie Bancroft
Producer: Libby Hart
Facebook: To the Land
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To the Land follows three friends and their small organic farm located on the California Coast. Over the course of a year, Brisa Ranch faces challenges and setbacks that put not only their friendship and farm at risk, but the very land they call home.
To the Land is a cinema verité portrayal of the struggles and joys found on the land and the resilience of those who grow the food that feeds our country.
If Brisa Ranch can be described in one word, it is: resilient.
For the past three years, Cole, Cristóbal, and Verónica have carefully grown Brisa Ranch from a small pumpkin patch into an organic farm that produces fruits and vegetables year round. They dream of one day having goats, sheep, and chickens. But as tenant farmers, these three friends spend long days on land they cannot truly call their own, and most of their future is just that- a dream. A dream of setting down both roots- both literal and figurative. And like so many other small farms throughout the United States, 2020 has turned life at Brisa Ranch upside down.
It began with the COVID shutdowns- businesses, restaurants, farmers markets. Surviving the economic instability of those early months turned out to be nothing compared to the devastating wildfires and later mudslides that swept through the mountains surrounding their farm. They lost their greenhouse, equipment, crops, their source of water.
And now? Just as pandemic fears begin to ease, Brisa is faced with other obstacles: rebuilding after the fire, a devastating drought, and the always present challenge of being a tenant farmer. Cole, Vero, and Cristóbal fear that without land to call their own, their dreams and potential will never be fully realized.
To the Land follows Cole, Vero, and Cristóbal as they work towards their dream during these uncertain times.
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Meet the Filmmakers
Katie Bancroft – Director
Katie Bancroft is a director, producer, and writer who splits her time in the Bay Area and New York City. Her career in theatre began working off-Broadway as a dramaturg and director on plays including Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since receiving her Masters in Dramatic Writing from NYU, she has worked as a producer and filmmaker for startups, non profits, and educational institutions.
Katie’s work focuses on using storytelling and the arts to educate and inform. She co-produced the podcast, Reentry Radio, which discussed issues surrounding individuals who have been incarcerated, their families, and the communities in which they live. She is a 2021 Stowe Story Lab fellow and Sloan Foundation grant recipient. Her most recent script, “Mercy,” was a finalist for the Austin Film Festival and semifinalist for the Sundance Episodic program. Her script “The Lost Coast” was a recipient of a Sloan screenwriting grant and a finalist in the Tribeca Film Festival Sloan Filmmaker fund grant.
Libby Hart – Producer
Libby Hart is a film producer and nonprofit fundraising consultant with a background in raising awareness and connecting organizations with individuals invested in film, agricultural, and environmental causes.
Libby has a background working specifically with nonprofits and organizations that focus on protecting land and providing agricultural access to traditionally underrepresented communities. She began her career at Peninsula Open Space Trust, which connected her to several of the Brisa Ranch team at the very start of their journey! To the Land has allowed her to bring
Libby specializes in launching capital and crowdfunding initiatives with an educational component. She has won a SPOT award for Innovation in a crowdfunding campaign from UC Berkeley. She holds a MBA in marketing and is the current Director of Development for Seattle International Film Festival.
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